Introduction

© UNICEF/NYHQ2009-0716/Christine Nesbitt
Maureen Sakala learned that she was HIV-positive while pregnant with her newborn, Christopher. She participates in a PMTCT programme which provides medications to both her and Christopher, and will first test him for HIV when he is six weeks old.

Over twenty-five years into the AIDS epidemic, the children in its path remain at grave risk. In 2008, 730,000 children under 15 years of age were estimated to be living with HIV and in need of treatment; 38 per cent were receiving treatment. Millions of children live in communities heavily burdened with disease, where it is not uncommon for a child to have lost a parent, both parents, or caregivers to AIDS. Without proper support, many of these children may experience poverty, school drop-out, indignities or early death.

Recognizing this, UNICEF has placed HIV at the heart of its response for children. The Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS campaign, launched in 2005, first drew the world’s attention to children, the missing face of AIDS. The Campaign, in line with UNICEF's priorities, works to meet Millennium Development Goal 6. The annually released "Stocktaking Report" takes a hard look at global progress in prevention, testing, treatment and support for children affected by HIV or AIDS and their parents. 'Children and AIDS: Fourth Stocktaking Report' is now available.

The four "P"s guide UNICEF's response for children: (1) Preventing mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV; (2) Providing paediatric treatment; (3) Preventing infection among adolescents and young people; and (4) Protecting and supporting children affected by AIDS.

UNICEF also provides support to healthcare delivery systems in resource-constrained areas and the management of HIV supplies needed by children and their parents.


 

 

 

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